Tag Archives: Rooster Rock

Rooster Rock (Autumn)

Directions: Drive I-84 East to exit 25 and follow the road into Rooster Rock State Park.

We had a busy weekend and we were looking for a quick hike nearby that might allow us to see some of the early fall colors. I’m glad we decided to go back to Rooster Rock, it allowed us to see how different this hike is on a nicer day.

After you pass the pay station take a right and head all the way to the end of the parking area near the bathrooms. The trail starts behind the bathroom, there is a faint path and almost a hole like opening that takes you into the woods. You will soon pass a frisbee golf platform and continue on the trail as it follows along above the shoreline. There are numerous frisbee golf platforms out here but you wont be seeing very many, still be sure to take caution if you notice people playing. A thick frisbee golf disc to the side of the head would be no fun. The trail eventually starts to head downhill and meets up with the sandy path that takes you along the river. Since we were last here there is a lot of new signage, apparently this is now a clothing optional area. We did run into a few people along this part of the trail that were nude but it ended up only being a little over a quarter mile of clothing optional area. Following along the sandy path next to the beach you will come to a crumbling thick sandy bank. Go up the bank and you will reach a grassy hill and see I-84. You are now out of the clothing optional area.

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Head up the hill and once you reach the top you will get a really nice view of the Gorge. Continue into the wooded area and follow the trail that has you going up and downhill, but nothing hard. You will be following along I-84 most of the time which means you will be dealing with a lot of road noise. The trail comes to a fork, stay right and hike uphill to another frisbee golf platform. Follow this trail back to your car which is just a short distance away.

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The most noticeable difference would be the better signage warning you about the clothing optional areas. This definitely isn’t the best hike for people who aren’t comfortable with nudity, for themselves or their children. It would probably be a good idea to do this hike during the colder months. That being said, Rooster Rock State Park is a great place for picnics, family gatherings, frisbee golf, and boating. Only a very small section of the park is clothing optional.

Distance: 3 miles

Elevation: 250 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: With the nude beach we’re going to say this isn’t the best hike for kids.

Bathrooms: Yes but they are seasonal.

Parking Fee: $5 entrance fee.

Seasons: All but keep in mind the nude beach is much more active during the warm months.

Popular: No

Overall: It’s a little irritating that this hike originally didn’t have any good signs letting you know where the clothing optional areas were. Yes, they do have them now but it should’ve always been there. Also, the noise from I-84 is very loud and distracting. We had to shout in order to hear each other. Worrying about possibly getting hit in the head with a frisbee disc isn’t that great either. Basically, don’t do this hike in nice weather! Pick a gloomy day where there wont be frisbee golfers or naked people 😉

Fall Hikes

Happy Fall!

Fall is our favorite season to hike. The weather is great (rain included), the colors are beautiful, and there are no mosquitoes!

We made a list of some of our favorite fall hikes. If you click on the links they will take you to the post and give you more detail and directions.

Hoyt Arboretum: This hike is all about the fall colors! With all the different trees you definitely get quite the show. 

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Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden: This is a great option for families. Lots of ducks that will entertain kids and nice well maintained trails. It’s also free during the off season which is Labor Day through February!

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Milo McIver State Park: All the different trail options on this hike are nice because you can get back to your car relatively quickly if it starts raining too hard.

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Angels Rest: We love hiking up to Angels Rest in the Fall. It’s a fairly steep hike so the cooler weather makes in a little easier. It’s also much less crowded!

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Rooster Rock Loop: Another great option for fall colors. Plus with gloomier weather we were able to see a Pygmy Owl!

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Beacon Rock: We have been to Beacon Rock many times but last year we decided to try it out on a foggy day. It was actually pretty fun! The fog gave the trail a slightly spooky vibe and there were barely any people.

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Silver Falls State Park: Fall colors are the only thing that can make a trail with 10 waterfalls even better!

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Pup Creek Falls: This hike should be done in mild weather.

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Kiyokawa Family Orchards: Fall apple picking!

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 Have fun hiking in the wonderful fall weather!

Rooster Rock Loop (Winter)

Directions: Drive I-84 East to exit 25 and follow the road into Rooster Rock State Park.

If you are from the Portland area chances are that when you hear “Rooster Rock State Park” you automatically think “nude beach.” Turns out there is a lot more to it.

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This hike starts at the East end of the parking area, across the field from the bathrooms. You will see an old wood sign and faint path to the left of it. The first hundred feet or so are covered in berry briars and other bushes, but it soon opens up to a more well maintained trail. Stay on this path until it winds down and meets with the trail that takes you to the beach.

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Stay right at the junction and continue on through the marshy area until you reach the Sand Island Viewpoint. The viewpoint is a good area for lunch and bird watching (watch out for hunters though).

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Continuing East along the Columbia you’ll come to a semi-steep sandy switchback about a 1/4 mile past the viewpoint. This takes you up to a grassy hill with great views of the Gorge. At the top of the hill you reenter the forest. Lots of trees are covered with ferns and the ground is covered with Horsetail Ferns. Keep your eyes peeled for Northern Pygmy Owls (we were able to spot one today).

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Not too far down the trail you will come to a fork. Head right, up the hill and follow the trail back to the parking area. When you get back to your car, take an extra few minutes and head to the West end of the parking area to view Rooster Rock.

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Distance: 3 miles

Elevation: 250 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: With the nude beach so close we’re going to say this isn’t the best for kids.

Bathrooms: Yes but they are seasonal

Parking Fee: $5 entrance fee

Seasons: All but keep in mind that the nude beach is much more active during warmer months.

Popular: No

Overall: Lots of noise from I-84 but all of the wildlife is nice.